Standard Article

Zebra Mussel Control Without Chemicals

Municipal Water Supply

  1. Charles H. Sanderson,
  2. T. C. Molden

Published Online: 15 JUL 2005

DOI: 10.1002/047147844X.mw623

Water Encyclopedia

Water Encyclopedia

How to Cite

Sanderson, C. H. and Molden, T. C. 2005. Zebra Mussel Control Without Chemicals. Water Encyclopedia. 1:510–514.

Author Information

  1. Magnatech Corporation, Fort Wayne, Indiana

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 JUL 2005


Methods to control the zebra mussel became top priority in many municipalities and industries that use water from the Great Lakes. In desperation, chemicals (mostly chlorine) became the quick fix; however, the toxic discharge back into the fresh water lakes increased the fish kill and killed other wildlife species. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers sought other (nonchemical) means to control the spread of the mussel threat and set up workshops in which academic and industry professionals were invited participate.

The National Research Council listed several technologies more friendly to the environment than chlorine and other chemical biocides. Among those identified were filtration systems, thermal techniques, electric pulse and pulse plasma techniques, ultraviolet treatment, acoustic systems, magnetic fields, deoxygenation, and antifouling coatings.


  • zebra mussels;
  • freshwater mollusk;
  • chemical biocides